graphic reading "application FAQs"
Letters of recommendation provide the Admissions Committee with valuable insight into your performance in the classroom and workplace. Read some answers to the most common questions we receive about letters of recommendation.

As part of the application for admission, three individuals who are familiar with your work—either academic or professional—will be required to submit letters of recommendation endorsing your candidacy. These letters provide the Admissions Committee with valuable insight into your character and performance in the classroom and workplace.

Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about letters of recommendation.

Do my recommenders need to submit their letters by the December 1 deadline?

Your completed application, including all supporting materials, must be received no later than Friday, December 1, 2023 at 12 p.m. ET. Please be in touch with your recommenders as December 1 approaches to ensure that their recommendations are submitted prior to the deadline.

Who should I ask to provide letters of recommendation?

  • If you are an undergraduate or have less than two years of work experience, we encourage you to submit two letters of recommendation from university faculty members and the third from your immediate supervisor from a professional work environment or internship.
  • If you have more than two years of work experience, two of your three letters of recommendation should be from current or previous work colleagues, including a supervisor. We also encourage you to submit an academic reference as well.
  • We understand that many applicants to the Mid-Career MPA Program may not be able to submit recommendations from professors. If you are a Mid-Career applicant, you should have colleagues or supervisors who can evaluate your ability to succeed in a rigorous academic environment write your letters of recommendation.

Is it beneficial to have a high-profile recommender?

You should select recommenders who can speak to qualities such as your intellectual ability, problem-solving skills, leadership ability, and commitment to public service. It is much more important to have recommenders who can write in detail about your performance in the workplace or classroom than it is to have high-profile recommenders.

Can I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

No, we will only accept three letters of recommendation. Please do not send additional letters of recommendation—we will not consider these as part of your application.

My recommenders are not native English speakers. Can they submit letters in another language?

We will accept a recommendation letter in a language other than English; however, the letter must be translated into English. You, the applicant, cannot complete the translation. In such cases, both the original letter and English translation should be submitted.

How do my recommenders submit their letters of recommendation?

You will enter the names and email addresses of each of your recommenders in your online application. An email with instructions, a username, and password will be sent to each registered recommender through our application system. After adding your recommenders, you may check their letter submission status under the “Recommendations” section of your online application and on your application status portal.

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